27 short poems of santa monica california




ocean and 18th

 

a design student   drawing board in hand  

another half dozen students   

wait at the corner of ocean and 18th

 

wait for the green light and walk signal

a nexus that will not be repeated in just this way

 

~

 

coming from the schoolyard   the sounds

of autumn   of spring   of winter

each set of sounds unique

 

today it is the sound of football

and the cheering that goes with it

 

~

 

why crows should gather

outside my window every morning

is something i don't know

 

but they do   and wake me

every morning

 

~

 

by four o'clock the aisles of bob's market

are crowded with students

and shoppers buying after-school treats and dinner

 

it is a bustle of hunger and commerce

in fair trade

 

~

 

some eating dinner at the shack shake

some studying at the library

some at the laundromat   some at the bus stop   

 

if you want to be lonely    walk on the street

on an autumn evening

 

~

 

after work   walking the six blocks from home

to the market with empty bags

walking home afterward with full bags

 

this particular night

doing so without hope or anticipation

 

~

 

after a shooting   after the police

have done their work   after the last 

of the sirens   after the yellow tape is up

 

a crew comes in to scrub 

the floors and walls

 

~

 

beep beep beep of garbage trucks backing up   

crash of bins raised and tipped   roar

of low-geared acceleration 

  

winter   spring   summer   fall

alleyway in predawn

 

~

 

laptops or textbooks open   ear buds in place   

students   professors   screen writers

at the coffee shop working in intense silence

 

but for the loud-talkers celebrating

themselves

 

~

 

venice boardwalk   a scene and a half   

mecca for happiness   for those wanting

to shed their work-a-day selves

 

carnival of colors    sounds   possibilities

crazy isn't the word   or   it's the perfect word

 

~

 

santa monica pier   mecca for happiness

tourists throng   babel of languages

skin tones of very hue   bodies of every shape

 

all have one thing in mind

pleasure

 

~

 

buskers and homeless   familiar

street-corner faces engaged in the familiar

exchange of dollars for entertainment   

 

dollars for

there but for the grace of god

 

~

 

students arrive by foot   car   bus   motorcycle   bike   skateboard   

arrive early

for eight o'clock classes   

 

the quiet neighborhood suddenly bustling

drowning out the crows' belligerence

 

~

 

a new fence being built   redwood 

plank by plank   here is the young couple's yard

an enclosure for their first born

 

across the street   apartments   

nearby   stores and restaurants

 

~

 

palm fronds brought down by the sirocco

clutter the street   a passing reminder

that all is well until it isn't   

 

palm fronds are quickly picked up

the illusion rejoined

 

~  

 

when the october heat comes   which it always does   

predictably catching everyone off guard 

fans fly off the store shelves

 

those too late to buy a fan

swelter

 

~

 

someone is playing a guitar   i hear it

coming from an open window   

i think of the sound hole from which it emanates

 

what is a sound hole   what is a hole

how does one describe that which isn't there

 

~

 

so many churches   so many sins to repent

walking into the cool sanctuary

confess   offer repentance

 

as one would enter the forest or ocean   alone

witnessed only by the heavenly spirit

 

~

 

wading through breakers   finding sanctuary

within the quiet beneath the waves   

finding sanctuary within the quiet of the kelp bower

 

finding communion with oneself in the light of sunbeams

filtered by sea and leaves

 

~

 

beach sand   soft and warm   a veritable

playground by day

cold and damp and hard by night

 

a poor bed for the homeless

a bed nonetheless

 

~

 

this place is sun-baked   parched   color-faded

rarely rains   when it does   precious water runs uselessly

from pavement to sea   yet this place survives   

 

it seems no amount of abuse is too much

so it seems

 

~

 

this is a place of people living ordinary lives   

going to work   raising families   

doing no harm   tidying their corners of their world

 

i am one of the many   

often lost   never confident

 

~  

 

the girl at the corner holding the drawing board

of designs must have a wonderful life

she is so pretty and confident   isn't that the way it works

 

when the light turns green she crosses the street

she does it well

 

~

 

the beaches are crowded   

the october heat

drives everyone to seek comfort in the cool ocean

 

yet everyone isn't at the beach

the city is still choking on itself

 

~

 

the flora here is colorful and succulent

surviving on dreams of rain

why is this place a mecca   what is the dream

 

my feet cover than same blocks day after day

becoming ever more weary

 

~

 

sunday at the beach on my white and yellow

striped towel   reading and sketching

around me   a thousand others   

 

everyone is happy

is everyone happy

 

~

 

this is a place of crows and gulls

songbirds live elsewhere   

thank god for shorebirds   the waders

 

sandpipers   plovers   curlews   

unsubtle and defiant   thank god for the shorebirds

 

 

 

 





Poetry by one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 79 times
Written on 2017-10-13 at 21:00

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Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
I just didn't want it to stop. I was traveling along with you, meeting, observing these you brought us and their surrounding events and lives. I've been there and saw them but never knew them as well until now. Thank you.
2017-10-15


Bibek
Vivid and skilled. You paint with words. Each poem is a marvel to read.
2017-10-14


Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
I like the form that you've chosen, or which has chosen you, and you present the details in such a vivid, painterly way. Thank you for this sequence which I shall certainly reread!
2017-10-14


Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
You describe it all so well. I enjoyed reading it all.
2017-10-14


Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
I have read each and every one of these over and over again, enjoying them each time. Every time I picked a favorite, I would only find another one I liked more, so I'll just say that these are a very enjoyable collection. Ok, I enjoyed the beach, and Santa Monica Pier, and Venice, but really, I enjoyed them all, and I wonder about the Ravens too, and I am sad about the violence, and I could go on. Thanks for sharing these.
Ashe~~
2017-10-14